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Friday, December 18, 2015

The Fuller House Trailer: a Close Reading

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM


Man, it’s been a good week for trailers. The rather abominable-looking, Beastie Boys-backed Star Trek Beyond trailer appeared, as did the titillating Independence Day: Resurgence trailer. Thankfully, further Force Awakens trailers are a mathematical impossibility at this point. But even though an in-universe San Francisco gets destroyed in the chronology of those other two, we also have something happy, something pure. Something involving an establishing shot from the Marin Headlands, a familiar look at the grassy knoll above the Painted Ladies, and a typeface that might as well be called Millar-Boyett.

The slightly mournful, crafted-for-a-montage acoustic guitar preps you for what’s coming: the Fuller House trailer!

OK, there’s no sight of a grizzled Bob Saget sighing deeply — a la Harrison Ford’s “Chewie, we’re home” — but the jumble of voiceovers is as comforting as one of D.J. Tanner’s graphically pleasing bedspreads: “Gosh, it feels good to be back,” “Cut. It. Out!” A dog that looks a lot like Comet is the only character we see.

According to the press release for this Netflix Original Series (a stretch, IMO), the reboot debuts on Feb. 26. D.J. is now a veterinarian (and widowed, just as her father was), Stephanie is a musician, and former straight-D student Kimmy Gibler is still her besty. The three of them are raising D.J.’s three sons (the youngest of which, an infant, is naturally played by twins).

And speaking of twins, the Olsens aren't in it. (They have seriously moved on. Did you know that Mary-Kate just married the half-brother of the former French prime minister?)

So much has changed in the television landscape since the heyday of ABC's T.G.I.F., that it’s hard even to guess what direction this show will go in. Presumably, the pilot will front-load the nostalgia to get us all hooked, but Fuller House — which puns on DJ.’s married name, Tanner-Fuller — will necessarily depart from the template in ways far beyond what Netflix’s fourth season of Arrested Development did.

It’s safe to say it won’t be studded with amoral anti-heroes, but will they stick with the three-camera format? Will they shoot on location here in town, touching on gentrification and tech and all our existential hoopla? Will they eat at Nopa, shop at Bi-Rite, jump fences at Outside Lands? The fact that D.J.’s occupation is as family-friendly and apolitical as it gets, a career choice that almost every child lights upon at some point, suggests a level of innocence that is as utterly out of fashion these days as the milkman and the paperboy, even as pop culture is saturated with reboots and re-imaginings, even a sequel to Full House's fellow 1987 artifact Spaceballs. How will Fuller House reconcile our obsession with the early ‘90s with television’s level of sophistication?

Whatever happens, life is full again. Shoo-biddy-BOP-ba-da!

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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